In November 2014, Encinitas elected its first Mayor, Kristin Gaspar. Her campaign for the position stressed her fiscal responsibility and leadership.
Over the past year, I have observed Mayor Gaspar at City Council meetings, albeit as they are broadcast on TV. It appears to me that Mayor Gaspar politically calculates each and every vote she makes to be sure she personally looks good despite the facts.
For example, the Council had before it a proposal to pay for an additional sheriff. As a new Sheriff’s Captain was just about to be put into place, the majority of the Council wanted to wait to approve additional staffing until the new Captain could do an assessment of the department. This, of course, makes perfect business sense. However, Ms. Gaspar voted for the new Sheriff at a cost of $250,000. The new Captain ‘s analysis indicated there was no need for additional staff at this time, just extra money for overtime at about $100,000. It seems that Ms. Gaspar was trying to show her “strong on law enforcement” position, spending Encinitas taxpayers’ money unnecessarily.
A very generous donation has been made to the Encinitas Library. As a result, Mayor Gaspar has proposed the re-naming of our city Library to include the donor’s name. Our Encinitas Library is part of the San Diego County Library system. Mayor Gaspar did not consult the County prior to making the proposal before Council. This is not leadership.
Recently an issue before the council was whether a landlord at 285 El Camino Real could add additional parking spaces to their property. Although I sympathized with the residents next to the property, the landlord was not violating any city ordinance, and, in fact, adding additional spaces only brought the lot closer to the law that mandates the number of spaces.
Mayor Gaspar voted against the landlord in what I can only assume was a ploy to placate the residential neighbors. She knew the majority on the Council would vote in accordance with the law. She chose to “look good” to residents instead. It seems to me that as a leader she should be setting the example of following the laws
It appears Mayor Gaspar has little sense of responsibility to her office. She is only fiscally responsible when it suits her and is clearly not a leader.
Joan Gosewisch, 30-year Encinitas resident